Former Eagles head coach Doug Pederson revisits Philadelphia's decision to draft Jalen Hurts

Doug Pederson spoke with John Clark recently during a sit-down Eagles fans must hear. The topics ranged from Super Bowl jinxes to the emergence of Jalen Hurts.
Doug Pederson, Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
Doug Pederson, Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Often, at this juncture of the calendar year, we begin discussing how bored we are and that we can't wait to see training camp begin. We start tossing ideas back and forth about who might take a giant leap. At this time last year, questions were being asked about whether or not Jalen Hurts could get the job done as QB1 of the Philadelphia Eagles. You haven't heard any of that recently, have you? Why? It's quite simple actually.

Jalen Hurts didn't just take a step forward. He made Eagles fans feel like we had won the lottery. QB1's emergence felt like someone announced power ball numbers that we had played during the evening news. In a flash, we all went from living in a nice house to living in a penthouse.

Jalen finished second in MVP voting and led the Birds to within four points of winning the second Super Bowl in franchise history. Recently, he was discussed by the guy who led Philadelphia to its first.

Doug Pederson spoke with John Clark recently during an interview every Eagles fan must hear.

They say 'Once a Raider, always a Raider'. Make no mistake about it though. The Eagles contingent is always paying attention to what former Birds are doing.

Year one for Doug Pederson went well in Duval County. No one should be surprised by that. Recently, he hung out with NBC Sports Philly's John Clark for an episode of Take Off. As you might imagine, one of the members of the leadership group that brought Hurts to town was asked about his former pupil, among other things.

Birds fans were confused about Hurts' selection at first. Three years later, Philly's leadership structure is being praised for their ingenuity. Here's more from Coach Pederson.

"Hey, you picked the right guy, and you don’t second guess your decision. Not everybody has to be on the same page, but there were a lot of us on the same page about Jalen Hurts during that draft. And, look, that’s one of the things that I love about the draft. You pick the guys who are going to help you win championships and obviously Jalen is the right guy for Philadelphia."

Obviously, last season's Super Bowl loss still stings. Can the Eagles overcome the dreaded Super Bowl jinx? How does Nick Sirianni get his team back to the big game and win it this time? Coach Pederson, someone who has dealt with the pressure of the jinx himself, has his theory. Here's what he had to say.

"That is the challenge and it’s going to start at the top. It’s going to start with Coach Sirianni, and how he approaches the offseason program and training camp, and I look back on those moments that I had in 2018 and how we headed into training camp and you gotta start over. You can’t rest on what you did last year. Last year is done."

Last February's Super Bowl featured two franchises that are near and dear to Coach Pederson's heart. He played for Andy Reid in Green Bay and Philly. He coached under Big Red in K.C. with the Chiefs. As mentioned, he also led the Birds.

So, who was he cheering for during Super Bowl LVII? As it turns out, he decided to watch the game as a fan.

"I wasn’t conflicted. I appreciate the game of football, and love it, and have a lot of passion for the game. Two great football teams. Andy Reid has been a mentor of mine. He coached me in Green Bay. Obviously, I’ve been on his staff in Philly and in Kansas City, and then for Philadelphia, just to watch those players, some of the staff members, that were with me in Philly and you appreciate the hard work that went into getting them back into that game."

Who would have thunk we'd be in this position? Well... We did... Okay, here's some honesty. Even though we love QB1 and always knew he'd be successful, we had a few thoughts about his selection that were, shall we say, less than positive.

We didn't necessarily love the idea of drafting Jalen Hurts in Round 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft. Carson Wentz had just gotten paid. Perhaps had Philly taken Jalen in Round 3 we wouldn't have been upset. Maybe, if Philly selected Justin Jefferson instead of Jalen Reagor, Hurts' selection doesn't sting as much at the moment. Then again, when you think about things through that lens, it's hard to ignore the immediate thoughts that follow.

We aren't certain that Jalen would have been available had Philly waited until Round 3. Had Philly taken Jefferson in 2020, they probably don't wind up with DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown. In our own little ITI-driven world, we had already begun debating whether or not Carson was built for a city like Philadelphia. As it turns out, he wasn't. Carson didn't just regress. He fell off a cliff, so with all of that being said, maybe things worked out like they should have.

As for Doug, things may not have ended in Philly as he and some others would have liked, but he'll hold a special place in our hearts forever. We'll most certainly be watching a few more Jacksonville Jaguars games this season if the Birds aren't playing in the same window of time. Dougie P is a legend and the only man that can say he's the first head coach to lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl win. He earned his Eagles wings a long time ago.

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